The Nigerian Senate has held a valedictory session in honour of the late Senator Ali Wakili whose demise occurred last week Saturday. The valedictory session which held during Wednesday’s plenary was sequel to a motion sponsored by the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan.
It would be recalled that Tuesday’s plenary session was suspended as part of the parliamentary tradition whenever a member dies but Wednesday’s plenary session was completely dedicated to tributes from his colleagues.
NASS MUSEUM, ARCHIVES
At the end of the tributes, four resolutions were reached, including the decision to liaise with the House of Representatives to expedite actions in the establishment of National Assembly museum and archives to immortalise members of the National Assembly appropriately.
Senate also resolved to introduce the culture of naming committees and hearing rooms after senators, while an appropriate scheme to support the families of senators who died in active service is being considered as well.
Moving the motion at the resumed plenary, Leader of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan said the late Wakili was born in 1960 and attended Lere Primary School in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area from 1975 to1972. After his university education at the A-B-U- Zaria, he also attended Nigerian Customs training school, Lagos in 1984 and thereafter rose to the position of Comptroller of Customs in 1996 and retired in 2009.
According to the senate leader, some of the Bills and motions sponsored by the deceased include Federal College of Education Dass Establishment Bill, 2018, Nigerian Customs Service Act Repeal and Reenactment Bill 2018, Nigerian Customs Service Pension Board Bill, 2018.
In an additional prayer, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa called for the establishment of an endowment fund in honour of the deceased. The additional prayer was seconded by Senator Barau Jibrin. In his contributing, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu extolled the former customs officer.
“Wakili retired as a customs officer. So severally when matters concerning customs, revenues come up in the Senate he always contributed. The Senate benefited from his vast knowledge. We will continue to remember those good attributes he exhibited.”
Senator Ekweremadu said the simple lesson that should be learned from the death of Wakili was that “life comes to an end and power comes to an end whether it is applied appropriately or is abused. What would remain is what we made of the opportunity we had,” he said.
On his part, Senator Suleiman Nazif who represents Bauchi North senatorial district said there was a reconciliatory move in Bauchi, this is the time, “For those who said they wanted to reconcile with Ali Wakili, his family, wife. Please go to his family and show that true reconciliation.” he said.
Similarly, Senator representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District, Senator Isah Misau described the late Wakili as “a man of the grassroots.” He has left a vacuum that will be difficult to fill.”
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki said “he was a man that came as a first timer but he won the respect of all of us because he was calm and truthful. As much as possible, he had friends, he had integrity and cared for his people.”
Senator Saraki further urged his colleagues to hold fast to their roles as representatives of the people, and must give their best at any given opportunity. “This is because at the end of the day, death will come; Ali Wakili was a good sterling example to what we should be when serving our people,” he said.
This is the second time a Senator is dying in the present 8th senate, after the demise of Senator Isiaka Adeleke who was until his death, the Chairman of senate committee on the capital market.